9/11

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On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 history changed forever. In the early morning hours of the day, two planes-within 15 minutes of each other- crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center. Not shortly after the destruction of the twin towers, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon, causing a large fire. The fourth and last plane hijacked was on a course to Washington D.C.,  the passengers after finding out about the World Trade Center, tried to overtake the hijackers, resulting in the crashing of plane 93, death of all those aboard. What happened on this day changed us.

In this school year, 2019-2020, most of the graduating class were born after the infamous hijacking of the 4 planes on September 11, 2001. None of us students remember that awful day. But the teachers do:

Mrs. Weinraub-Grade 9 Subschool:

-At this time, Mrs. Weinraub was working as a Vet-Tech in Virginia-

On Tuesday morning, Mrs. Weinraub got up early to take her car into the shop without the radio on. After taking the car for maintenance she came home and turned on the tv. It opened to scenes of destruction, the planes had hit the twin towers. As she watched the smoke coming out of the towers, she immediately tried to call her then boyfriend-now husband- who was in a military base in Florida. He didn’t pick up. Her roommate came home, and together they watched the news as more information came in about the attacks. Still not being able to get ahold of her boyfriend, she went to work. She remembers it being eerily quiet and uneventful because no one came in. She kept trying to reach her boyfriend, but she was unable to reach him, again and again. It wasn’t until 8pm that night, that finally her boyfriend called. At his military base they had had a lockdown and were unable to take or make any calls. All throughout the day-in between the attempts to reach her boyfriend- she had also been trying to reach her husband’s cousin-who worked in the Trade Center. It wasn’t until 3 a.m. the next morning, that she found out his cousin was okay. Over the next few days 9/11 was still ever present in her life. She and her boyfriend had been planning to fly to D.C. to reunite, but due to the attacks, all flights were canceled.

“It was eerie and quiet for the rest of the week, at work, because people were focused on other things” -Mrs. Weinraub

Mr. Clements-Grade 12 Subschool Principle

-At this time, Mr. Clements was a junior going to Robinson-

Mr. Clements was in room C202, his physics class, when news reports began to flood into the school of the hits on the twin towers. These attacks were announced all over the school by the loudspeakers, it was all over the news.When the plane crashed into the Pentagon, the number of upset students increased dramatically. A number of students had parents working at the Pentagon, the new announcements hitting closer to home. As the day continued, more and more students required support to deal with their emotions. The days after the mood was sullen, “it was terrible, a tragedy” (Mr. Clements). He remembers over the next week students crying, lots of crying, even those who didn’t lose anyone were sometimes seen crying.

“We were so young, we didn’t quite comprehend the gravity of the situation” -Mr. Clements

Mr. Cross- HS Health and Physical Education Teacher

-At this time, Mr. Cross was a sophomore in college playing football-

In college Mr. Cross didn’t have classes on Tuesday or Thursday classes due to his football schedule. So on Tuesday the 11th, Mr. Cross was in his dorm when he got a phone call from his grandfather asking him to come over to watch the news. At first he was worried something bad had happened to his grandpa, and then once hearing the request he thought he was acting funny. Together they watched the news the entire day, not knowing why or what was happening. It was very surreal when plane 93 crashed in Somerset, Pennsylvania, a 30 minute drive and only 6 miles away from them. The days after the attacks everyone was on edge, people were affected by the attacks. As time passed though, it calmed down and they were even able to play their football game that Saturday.

“You have to come over and watch the news, the world is going to hell in a handbasket”  -Mr. Cross’ Grandfather

Mrs. Dygve-HS Science Teacher

-At this time Mrs. Dygve was living in Virginia with her husband-

For Ms. Dygve, Tuesday the 11th had started off great. She had woken up early to a beautiful day and gone for a nice run, but when she came home that high left her quite quickly. Her husband was watching the news, and it was then that she found out about the attacks in New York. With her husband they watched the horror unfold throughout the day. At the time their roommate worked in D.C. and was unable to get back due to traffic regarding the attacks. For the rest of the week everyone was in shock and unsure of what would happen next.

“I had been in a good mood, but it was a huge mental shift; from feeling great to feeling terrible and scared”

-Ms. Dygve

Ms. Garvey- HS Art Teacher

-At the time Ms. Garvey was an elementary art teacher-

Tuesday began like every average school day for Ms. Garvey. Nothing particularly unusual had happened and everything was routine. When they found out about the attacks the staff made the decision to not tell the kids what was happening. As an art teacher, Ms. Garvey didn’t have a specific class so in between lessons she and a few other teachers watched a TV of the newsreel of New York and the information coming in from the other attacks in the back of the library. While they hadn’t told the children of the horror happening outside, parents began pulling kids out of school, and they began to figure out that something was going on-they just didn’t know what. At first there was a lot of focus on New York and the people affected their but as time passed they began to focus on the local families who were affected by the crash into the Pentagon.  These attacks consumed everything.

“There was a collective feeling of stress and people didn’t know how to react”

-Ms. Garvey

Each of these stories are different, and each person was at a different point in life, but all of these stories provide insight into the feelings people experienced. 9/11 was scary, and everyone was affected by it. Sometimes we want to not think about the horrors of the past, the tears that have been shed, and the fear that we have felt, but we need to. It is the fear, and horrors that remind us not only of the mistakes that have happened but also the importance of the people we have in our lives. It was the days after that people began thinking about what really matters in life. As Mrs. Weinraub said “people were focused on other things”. While nothing has happened to the magnitude of the 4 attacks on that fateful Tuesday morning, we still experience hardships today, whether it’s the shootings that won’t end, or the natural disasters that keep happening. In life we live through horrors, and to get through these horrors we need to remember them, and work towards preventing the ones we can together.

Articles used:

https://newseumed.org/tools/artifact/terrorist-attacks-sept-11-2001-archived-papers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_for_the_day_of_the_September_11_attacks

https://www.nps.gov/flni/learn/historyculture/upload/FAQs_longform_formatted_5-2013.pdf

Created September 11-21, 2019